Scores of people from the Bihari community turned out with festivity early morning in Bahrain. The four-day celebration of Chhath Puja concluded this morning with devotees offering prayers to the rising sun in Zallaq beach.
Every year large crowds of people flock to the beach where the ritual worship of the sun God and Chhathi Devi is mainly observed by the women who fast and pray for the long life and wellbeing of their husbands and children. Last year the ritual saw the presence of the Ambassador of India to Bahrain H E Alok Kumar Sinha joining with the community at the beach.
The festival Chhath Puja is dedicated to the Sun and his sister Shashti Devi to honour them for their blessings on earth. The festival is largely celebrated by Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. On this festival, people worship the God of light and is celebrated for four days. Like any other Hindu festival, food plays a key role in this sacred festival which involves the preparation of 'prasad' made in pious ‘Ganga Jal’ on traditional 'clay çhulha'.
“Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens on Chhath Pooja. Let this Chhath Pooja be an occasion to express our devotion to Sun God, Mother Earth and rivers. May this festival bring happiness to everyone’s life and inspire us to respect nature more” tweeted the President of India Ram Nath Govind.
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi also extended wishes to the citizens on the holy festival of Chhath.
"Heartfelt greetings to all of you on Mahaparv Chhath. May the Lord Sun gives new happiness to all your family. This festival also inspires us to make nature and rivers pollution-free," Wayanad Congress MP Rahul Gandhi wrote on Facebook.
According to NDTV, The Chhath Puja begins with certain rituals and practices that involve Nahay Khay, followed by Lohanda and Kharna, Sandhya Argh and Suryodaya. The festival holds special significance for childless couples as it is believed that if a couple fasts on Chhath Puja, they will be blessed with a child. The first sunray is called Usha and last sunray is called Pratyusha. Both these sun rays are considered auspicious and worshipped during Chhath Puja.